Philosophy (PHIL) 482

Jurisprudence (Revision 2)

PHIL 482

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: None. But upper level undergraduate work in philosophy and/or legal studies is strongly recommended.

Precluded course: PHIL 482 is a cross-listed course—a course listed under 2 different disciplines—LGST 482. (PHIL 482 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for LGST 482)

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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PHIL 482 is not available for challenge.

Questions about this course? Contact the course professor: Dale Dewhurst.

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PHIL 482: Jurisprudence is an examination of fundamental philosophy of law principles underlying the Canadian (common law) legal system, along with related traditional objections and contemporary critical theories: feminist, Aboriginal and other. Topics include developing a critical philosophical approach; defining law; morality versus law; theories of liberty, autonomy, rights, justice and equality; culture, nationalism and colonialism; the rule of law and civil disobedience; and the impact of formal adjudication versus alternative dispute resolution.


  • Unit 1: The Nature of Jurisprudence
  • Unit 2: Differences Between Morality and Law
    • Part I: Defining Law
    • Part II: Distinguishing Law and Morality
    • Part III: Four Main Approaches to Law
  • Unit 3: Theories of Liberty and Autonomy
  • Unit 4: Theories of Rights and Justice
  • Unit 5: Law and Equality
  • Unit 6: Culture versus Law, Nationalism and Colonialism
  • Unit 7: The Rule of Law and Civil Disobedience
    • Part I: The Rule of Law
    • Part II: Civil Disobedience
  • Unit 8: Adjudication versus Mediation
  • Unit 9: Conclusion


To receive credit for PHIL 482, you must complete all of the assignments, and obtain a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Credit Weight
Assignment 1: Written answers to one Study Question from each of Units 1–4. 15%
Assignment 2: Outline and short essay; the topic must be chosen from subjects in Units 1–5 20%
Assignment 3: Written answers to one Study Question from each of Units 5–8 15%
Assignment 4: A précis (a plan for the Assignment 5 long essay) 10%
Assignment 5: A long essay; the essay topic can be chosen from subjects in Units 1–8 40%
Total: 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Freedman, M.D.A. (2014). Lloyd’s Introduction to Jurisprudence (9th ed.). London: Sweet & Maxwell.

Other Materials

All other course materials are available online.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, June 24, 2019.

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